Adamson U and National U brace for a big fightback from their Final Four rivals but remain upbeat of their chances for repeats in Game Two of the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan today
Victories by the Lady Falcons and the Lady Bulldogs over the Far Eastern U Lady Tams and the Arellano Lady Chiefs at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., respectively, will seal an exciting showdown between two unbeaten teams in the season-ending conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.
Both matches can be viewed live via streaming on www.sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/pvl.
But while the powerhouse NU side appears to have all the tools and motivation to duplicate their emphatic 25-17, 25-16, 25-23 triumph over Arellano in their best-of-three series opener last Wednesday, the Jema Galanza-less Adamson will be hard-pressed to match its come-from-behind 25-21, 22-25, 25-20, 14-25, 8-15 victory over FEU.
“It’s unfortunate that Jema’s not here but she’s acting like one of my assistant coaches now. I’m excited about it—challenges. They don’t scare us. We’re ready,” said Adamson coach Airess Padda.
But the Lady Falcons will also have to buck the absence of Bernadette Flora and Chrislyn Uy, who are competing in the ongoing UAAP beach volley tournament along with FEU’s Bernadeth Pons and libero Kyla Atienza.
Despite the dominant Game One win, NU coach Babes Castillo remains wary of the reigning NCAA champions.
“Arellano is a thinking team. They don’t move haphazardly. What I want is for us to dictate the pace of the match. Even if we switch positions and roles, I want them to respond quickly,” said Castillo.
The Lady Bulldogs broke away late in the first set before breezing past the second frame then rallied from 4-7 down and fended off an AU fightback in the third to seal the win, matching Adamson’s sixth straight victory.
Arellano, meanwhile, hopes to draw solid games from Jovielyn Prado, Regine Arocha and Andrea Marzan who combined for 18 points in the opener, six points short of NU star Jaja Santiago’s overall output alone.
Santiago hammered 24 points on 18 kills, three blocks and three aces in Game One and is expected to deliver anew, together with Risa Sato, Aiko Urdas, Jorelle Singh and playmaker Jasmine Nabor.
Padda, on the other hand, hopes the rest will step up the way they did in Game One where Joy Dacoron, Chiara Permentilla and Christine Soyud, along with Flora, combined in the team’s strong finish.
“It was really about team effort, inspiring each other to be better, motivating each other to want to help each other succeed,” said Padda, adding that they also have to minimize their errors (34 to FEU’s 31) and improve on their blocking (10 to the Lady Tams’ five) to check FEU’s Toni Basas, who came through with “easy kills” for a team-high 17 points the first time out.
Jerrili Malabanan, Heather Guino-o and Ivana Agudo, meanwhile, are expected to back Basas upfront as the Lady Tams seek to force a sudden death for a berth in the finals of the tournament backed by Mikasa and Asics.
Meanwhile, FEU and unbeaten Ateneo also try to arrange a title clash in the men’s side as they go for sweeps against NU and UST at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., respectively.
8 a.m. – FEU vs NU (men’s)
10 a.m. – UST vs ADMU
4 p.m. – FEU vs AdU (women’s)
6:30 p.m. – NU vs AU